Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Meet Me at Maggies

It is hard to put cancer and good time in the same sentence, but it is possible. One of the reasons that is possible for me is that we were lucky enough to discover Maggie's centre at Inverness. Not every hospital has one, but wherever they are, it is a lifeline for folks with cancer and, in my case, the hapless sometimes overlooked carer. I was terrified and angry and confused and lost. Maggies is a place where you can be all those things in your own time.

In marked contrast to the matter of fact rectilinear, shiny, no nonsense carefully contrived green walls of the hospital, Maggies is rounded and soft. From the moment you cross the threshold, you begin to relax. There are folks to talk to--if you like--and the kettle is always on. There are little rooms where you can curl up on a little sofa or armchair and have a nap or a dwam. There are pamphlets on the wall if you need or want to know more.

And it is a collecting place. A man who had himself been on his cancer journey came by and sat around the table and talked with folks about the things they needed to know but didn't want to ask about--wills and trusts and contingency plans. A nutritionist comes by, too, as well as a stress management tutor and other experts.

So when our friends from Maggies came up to Thurso (at the local cancer resource centre), we went along to have a glass or a cuppa and talk about good times. We went to support Maggies and to have good craic. So if you happen to be in the hospital in Inverness or know someone who is--stop by and say hello. Next best, they now have online chats. Here's the link to Maggies central:

and here's the link to our Maggies--"our local"

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